Men's Golf Gears Up for Spring Season
Feb. 19, 2009
After finishing in the top-5 in three out of the five fall tournaments, the Oregon State men's golf team looks to continue their pursuit of excellence going into the 2009 spring campaign.
The Beavers protected their home course for the second straight year and claimed the 2008 Giustina Memorial Classic trophy.
Junior Diego Velasquez claimed his first collegiate individual win at the Giustina and it was his birdie on his final hole that propelled Oregon State into a playoff with Nevada where the Beavers ran away with the victory.
The Beavers play in five tournaments this spring before taking on the rest of the conference at the Pac-10 Championships.
Oregon State added two newcomers to the roster during the winter. Junior Jesse Schutte (Florence, Ore./Siuslaw HS/U. of Oklahoma) joins the team after transferring from the University of Oklahoma. He was the Big-10 Newcomer of the Year his freshman year in 2007. He looks to make an immediate impact this spring.
The Beavers also add freshman Morten Madsen (Silkeborg, Denmark/Silkeborg Gymnasium) who spent a year at Tualatin High School just south of Portland, Ore. where he was recruited by men's golf head coach Brian Watts. Madsen is currently ranked 152nd in the world as an amateur according to Golfweek magazine.
"Anytime you have a 20 year old freshman join your lineup it's a good thing," Watts said. "Morten has had a lot of success at the international level and I'm sure it will be an easy transition for him into collegiate golf. He is a mature and powerful player. He is a great teammate and works extremely hard on all aspects of his game. Having Morten join us in the winter was a wonderful asset to everyone within the program. We look forward to working with him and watching his game continue to grow."
Senior co-captain Alex Williams (Vancouver, Wash./Skyview HS) is in his final season at Oregon State and looks to continue what has been a stellar career. He has competed in all five events during the fall season and is third on the team through the fall season with a scoring average of 74.20 per round.
"Alex is a true leader on and off the golf course," Watts said. "That is why he's been the captain the past couple of years. He's always played within himself. He's probably day in and day out one of the most consistent golfers we have. He's not the longest by far, but definitely the most consistent. He worked extremely hard on the right things which have enabled him to get the most out of his game. He's a great young man to coach and is very coachable. He always shows up with a great attitude and expects the most out of himself every day."
Junior co-captain Tyler Simpson (Portland, Ore./Clackamas HS) played in three out of the five fall tournaments. It was his and co-captain Williams' birdies on a playoff hole at the Giustina that cemented victory for the team.
"Tyler has to be one of the hardest workers I've seen in the years I've been coaching here," Watts said. "He's a great teammate on and off the courses and is always making the right decisions. Once Tyler gets in the lineup and sees that he belongs out there and knows that he belongs out there and that he can compete with anyone in the country then he's going to be a great player and I think will be a consistent player in our lineup year in and year out."
Senior Mike Barry (Medford, Ore./North Medford HS/University of San Diego) transferred to Oregon State last year from the University of San Diego and will redshirt this year.
"We had an opportunity to recruit Mike right out of high school and unfortunately due to the situation he ended up going down to southern California," Watts said. "It's great to have the opportunity to work with Mike for two years. He'll have to red shirt this year. We'll have him for the 2009-10 season. We're excited to get him in the lineup. He's going to be a great asset to the team and having the experience he has at the college level already, there's a maturity level that he brings to the team."
Junior Paul Peterson (Salem, Ore./Sprague HS) leads the team in scoring average coming into the spring with a mark of 72.33 strokes per round and competed in all five tournament evens during the fall. He recorded the lowest round out of any Beaver this year with a 67 in the final round at the San Francisco Intercollegiate.
"Paul is a fierce competitor," Watts said. "That's the one attribute that he brings to the program. Any time that he tees it up in a tournament you know that he's going to give you 100 percent. As he gets more tournament experience you're going to see his numbers get lower and lower just because of the experience that he's getting playing at the collegiate level. He was an outstanding junior golfer and now that he has two years of golf under his belt at the collegiate level, I see his game progressing every year. He is always focused during competition. His chin is always up on the golf course and he's always competing. He's a great teammate to have because you know he's out there giving all that he has."
Junior Diego Velasquez (Bogota, Columbia/ Gimnasio Los Caobos) is in his third year at Oregon State and has emerged as a spark for the team on the course. He claimed his first ever collegiate victory at the Giustina Memorial Classic this fall where he shot a final round 4-under par 68 to claim victory.
"Diego definitely brings a spice to the program," Watts said. "He brings a lot of laughter and a lot of energy to the program. He's very committed to playing great golf. He's a great competitor; he's a great ball striker and has always been one of the leaders in the country in fairways hit. Now we're just working on some of his choices on the golf course from the fairway in. He has a tendency to be a little bit aggressive which sometimes comes back and ends up adding a few shots at the end of the day. He's worked hard on his putting and once he gets confidence in his putting his scores are going to be lower, which will give him an opportunity to be an All-American at some point in his career her at Oregon State."
Sophomore Brandon Taylor (Corvallis, Ore./Crescent Valley HS) saw limited action during the 2007-08 season and did not see any playing time during the fall.
"Brandon didn't get a whole lot of playing experience last year as a freshman but he worked extremely hard this summer on his course management skills and just slowing things down a bit," Watts said. "Trying to get his misses in control and understanding that the golf swing can't be perfect, that's a big step for him. I look for Brandon to be in the lineup a lot this year and helping the team out."
Redshirt freshman Alex Moore (Richland, Wash./Hanford HS) jumped strait into the starting lineup coming off his redshirt year. He is fourth on the team in scoring average so far this year and looks to move up the rankings moving into the spring season.
"Alex had the whole year last year to work on his game and work on the whole transition from high school to college," Watts said. "Now that he's had that year and a whole summer where he competed well he's coming into the season, I feel, that he's going to be a solid player for us. He's able to shoot low scores; he's proven that at the high school level as well as last year. We're hoping to get a little more consistency out of him. He's a great ball striker, he hits the ball a long way, we have to tone it down at times. He has a tendency to be a little bit too aggressive some times."
Freshman Jonnie Motomochi (Delta, BC, Canada/Sands Secondary) has already made an impact on the team competing in three out of the five tournaments during the fall season. He has the third lowest round on the team during the fall with a 69.
"Jonnie comes to us from Vancouver B.C. and is probably one of the best junior golfers in Canada from the age of 12 on," Watts said. "Ball striking wise, he's by far the best ball striker that I've seen as a true freshman. He has another part of his game that he's just phenomenal with and that's his bunker play. The one thing he's been lacking is just his confidence with his putting. Once we work with him on his putting and get his confidence up he has an opportunity to do some great things with his time here at Oregon State. Jonnie has the greatest smile and a great attitude and is a pleasure to be around both on and off the course."